According to Bloomberg News, Ford’s COO Mark Fields may step into the company’s CEO job later this year, replacing Alan Mulally.
Bloomberg, which cites unidentified sources, says Ford could announce the promotion and reveal Alan Mulally’s retirement date as early as May 1. It would be the second shoe to drop after Ford promoted Fields, 53, to the chief operating job in December 2012, making him Mulally’s heir apparent. A new announcement could reassure company employees and Wall Street. Both were rattled by rumors late last year that Mulally might leave Ford to take the top job at Microsoft Corp. He didn’t deny the conjectures until January. Mulally, 68, has said he intends to remain the automaker’s boss through 2014. But disclosing his retirement date soon might give him an extra chance to bask in the glow of the strong first-quarter earnings Ford is expected to report on Friday.
Spokeswoman Susan Krusel says the company won’t comment on the speculation about an imminent statement about Fields. Ford has nothing new to say about its internal succession plans, she adds. “If anything were to change, we’d let everybody know.”